By Alan Sorensen
Its Domestic Violence Awareness Month, School Bus Safety Week, Red Ribbon Week kickoff and runs, MSU-Northern Homecoming weekend and the advent of hunting season.
Who said theres nothing to do in Havre?
For starters, we can refrain from beating our loved ones and running down small children on their way to school. Then we can head to Northerns volleyball, basketball, wrestling and football games (and tailgate party) this weekend.
I pretty much got in the mood for college homecoming while watching the Havre High cross country meet on the MSU-Northern campus. It gave me the feeling that I was interloping on an Ivy League campus at the most colorful time of year. I wouldnt have been surprised to see a fan enveloped in a voluminous raccoon coat, his pants legs rolled up a couple notches and a crumpled fedora on his head, waving a pennant.
How many others remember when we called that land between 11th Street and Cowan Hall Crowleys Pasture? I seem to recall people scoffing at the hundreds, maybe even thousands of truckloads of dirt that were brought in and dumped on that hillside in the late 60s.
Who among us really thought that field surrounding Kuhr Pond would one day be the site of a beautifully maintained lawn with numerous shade trees shedding their brightly colored leaves in the fall?
If I remember correctly, Dr. Joseph Crowley, NMC president at the time, was pretty much alone in his vision.
Want more autumnal color? Drive through Beaver Creek Park in the Bear Paws without fear of being mistaken for wildlife and fired upon.
I see an Idaho hunter shot and killed another Idaho hunter this week. Thought he was a deer and got him in the head. Neither one was wearing hunters orange because Idaho doesnt require its hunters to wear hunters orange.
The TV commentator who informed me and thousands of other viewers of the incident said that it is still rare for one hunter to kill another hunter in Idaho. It cant be that rare; Ive heard the story before.
True, hunters are probably killed more often by their own carelessness, thoughtlessness or clumsiness while moving about the countryside with loaded weapons at the ready.
I spoke with a Havre hunter this week about the Idaho incident. He said he worries less about shooting other hunters (theyre in orange, after all) and more about what lies beyond his target. He worries what a miss might do to the people who may be sitting down to a hot breakfast in a farmhouse a half mile up wind from the deer he has in his sights.
I have nothing against hunters. I wish more poor people could afford to hunt. I remember the old days when poor families actually put venison and varmints on their tables. Hunting today, from what I hear, has become big business with big business costs.
A few years ago, I covered a public forum Sen. Max Baucus held here in Havre. The topic was supposed to be upcoming legislation, but the gun lobby was out in force to boo Baucus for his stand on gun control. What they called gun control, the rest of us called handgun registration.
Anyway, to again go for the shorter version, most of the gun people who filled the room were well behaved. But a small and vocal cadre of gun nuts (what else can you call a bunch of tie guys who come to a public forum dressed in khaki with beer-can-holding caps complete with plastic straws on their heads?) continually disrupted the question-and-answer format.
I sometimes wonder if congressmen are more influenced by the threat than the money of the gun lobby.
I remember Charleton Heston saying something in one of his movies about Chinese warlords killing all the Christians, especially the white Christians. I wondered how a white person could be killed any deader than any other person. Then I realized: What can you expect from the man who would be king of the NRA?
In the old, politically incorrect, happy-hunting vernacular: Go Lights, kill the Saints!